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Charles Cressent  

b. 1685, d. 1768
ébéniste; sculptor
French

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Charles Cressent, a leading ébéniste and sculptor of the late Régence and early Rococo periods, became a master sculptor in 1719. He worked as both ébéniste and sculptor to the Regent, Philippe II, duc d'Orléans. His furniture was often decorated with plain veneers, usually of satinwood and amaranth, or veneers in patterns of parquetry.

Though Cressent was best known for the highly sculptural gilt bronze mounts that ornamented his furniture, these mounts also jeopardized his career. In order to supervise production and guarantee the quality of his mounts, Cressent employed master casters and gilders in his workshop. This practice broke the strict rules of the French guild system, and the guild prosecuted him for practicing the two professions of cabinetmaking and gilding in the same workshop. In order to pay the resulting fines, Cressent was forced to hold sales of his stock. The catalogues from these auctions, which he wrote himself, provide important evidence to identify his works, as Cressent's furniture was always unsigned.


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Pair of Firedogs / Cressent
Pair of Firedogs

French, about 1735

Commode / Cressent
Commode

French, about 1745

Barometer on Bracket / Cressent
Barometer on Bracket

French, about 1755

Clock on Bracket / Romilly
Clock on Bracket

French, about 1758